Two Weeping Kings

Awhile back, I was introduced to the talents of Eric Whitacre and his evocative song “When David Heard”, by my composer-friend, Zachary Horner (if you get the chance, be sure to check out his Sound Cloud account for samples of his own amazing work), and continue to be fascinated by the song’s depth and intensity conjured up by–most astounding!–the singing of just a single verse from 2nd Samuel.

“When David heard that Absalom was slain he went up into his chamber over the gate and wept, my son, my son, O Absalom my son, would God I had died for thee!” (2nd Sam. 18:23 KJV)

The song is brimming with emotion. It was nearly too much for me to bear the first time I heard it. When the voices got loud my eyes started to fill and I had the wild impulse to rip my earbuds out, cover my ears and run. I could picture it all–the gut-wrenching grief like voices screaming in my ears, chasing me down, hunting me like a wild animal then, as the voices quieted I could feel the loneliness creeping in like a quiet mist. I could see the memory of the long march back home, the uncertain glances from the soldiers as they watched their brave warrior-king retreat within himself, his eyes glazing over, unresponsive to those around him, uncaring of where he went next, his thoughts consumed by the one who was not with them, the son whom he loved and was dead. It was like a darkness had fallen over the whole company.

Later, it felt like a dream. It was easy for me to imagine King David waking up, panting, sweat glistening on his brow and sitting up in bed only for the silence to tear his soul more than his dream. I could feel the coldness, the unresponsiveness of the palace stone walls. I could feel the cry for answers, the despair, the emptiness.

In the final minute of the piece, it was as if the shepherd-king was standing on one of his many balconies, looking out over the business of the city, listening to the voices bubbling up from the market square and remembering all that once was. Time has passed and the gut-wrenching grief has passed, leaving behind only a dull ache.

He can never forget.
He can’t simply move on.
He can’t explain why.
It just is.

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The Profanity of Christian Films (that aren’t really Christian)

The Redemption of Henry Myers

Photo Aug 05, 8 58 42 PM

Network Premier: March 23rd, 2014
DVD release: June 10th, 2014
Dove Rating: 5 Stars for ages 12+
My Rating: 1 star for discerning audiences only

Photo Aug 14, 8 27 48 PM

It was a better quality film than most Independent Christian Films I’ve seen. The acting was decent, the cinematography was good. It was watchable…which is definitely a step in the right direction production-wise but can also be alarming if the message isn’t good.

The Redemption of Henry Myers was a film I wanted to like–and did enjoy at first. All the right elements were in place: basic character development, a solid character arc, endearing protagonist with shady backstory, antagonists out to get main character, main character that has to make big decision, plot twist that escalates tension, gripping scenes of powerful emotion, and finally, the heart-warming redemption of the main character that we’ve been expecting since reading the movie’s title. But all of this marked by the simplicity and profound naiveté characteristic of a manuscript written by a thirteen-year old girl. I’ve read a few, so I should know–heck, I’ve written a few!

But what passes as naiveté in thirteen-year-old girls is bad theology in adults. We are called to a higher level of discernment and must sift and test even the films that at first seem “good.”

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Book Completed on Goodreads: Paradise Lost

My Review from Goodreads:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/048644287X/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=048644287X&linkCode=as2&tag=livinheassha-20&linkId=F5ECKR6C4B7ELYXL

rating: 5 of 5 stars
bookshelves: read
status: Read from June 16 to 19, 2014
format: audiobook

review: There were some “little” changes here and there to the biblical account (such as Adam and Eve being parted at the moment of temptation) that become significant changes because of their implications (now Adam eats the forbidden fruit because he can’t bear to be parted from Eve) but in other details it is precise and insightful (the headship of Adam, substitutionary atonement, the spiritual significance of God’s clothing Adam and Eve, etc and etc).

What makes this an enduring classic and a book deserving to be on every Christians’ shelf is its portrayal of the gospel as a story–as the epic poem that it truly is. It will take your breath away.